This is it, America– the fate of our two contestants hangs in the balance, and only you can deci – Wait, I'm sorry – I was having one of those "If I were Ryan Seacrest.." moments, but I'm sure you've had them, too, right? But, tonight does come with a showdown of Idol proportions – Kurt and Rachel take on their NYADA auditions – who will make it? Whose dreams will come true and whose dreams will fall a part. THIS.. is Glee!
Kurt and Rachel prepare for their NYADA audition in their own ways – Kurt wonders if his performance of "Music of The Night" is too safe and predictable, while Rachel – in usual Rachel way – thinks of herself and her dreams above everything else. Meanwhile, Puck's future hangs in the balance over a test, and in typical Puck fashion – he attempts to use sex to get his way, but is less than pleased when it doesn't go quite the way it normally does – leading him to rock out and declare "School's Out" forever. Sue and Ros don't appreciate the way Santana and some of the glee club girls seem to throw the idea of domestic abuse round as if it was a joke, deciding to channel the girl's to find an anthem of female empowerment.
Rachel attempts to talk Kurt out of doing "The Boy Next Door" made famous by Peter Allen, and later Hugh Jackman in "The Boy From Oz" on Broadway by telling him that "Music of The Night" is his "Don't Rain On My Parade" and offering to be his Christine, in place of Tina. When the girls perform "The Cell Block Tango" from Chicago, things come to a forefront when Coach Bieste reveals that the injury to her eye wasn't done by a punching bag, but Cooter himself, prompting Sue to step in and offer her a place to stay. Puck plans to head out of town as soon as possible, but something familiar stops him – his father.
In the midst of planning an intervention for Puck, the boys of glee club are shocked when Puck arrives singing a different tune after his encounter with his father – determined to be more than his father ever was, and graduate. Meanwhile, Kurt and Rachel's time has come – their dreams and futures sit in the hands of a well known opera diva and NYADA alum nicknamed El Trubado (Whoopi Goldberg). Kurt abandons "Music of The Night" in favor of "The Boy Next Door" and impresses El Trubado with his risk taking, something that seems to play on Rachel's mind.
Rachel's moment comes, but the sun's not candy and a ball of butter, when she chokes and forgets the words and is denied a second chance by El Trubado. Meanwhile, the boys of the glee club make a break through to Puck – a la My Fair Lady, but the toughest work is still a head. Coach Bieste owns up to what happened and thanks the girls of glee club for helping her realize this, but also warning them that it isn't something to take lightly. Puck's exam occurs, and he has nothing but thanks for the boys of glee club for helping him become a man.
The girls of glee club apologize to Coach Bieste with a version of 'Shake It Off", but Bieste isn't being completely truthful – she's still living with Cooter. Rachel breaks down as Kurt attempts to soothe her, before turning to "Cry" by Kelly Clarkson to let the feelings out, as Puck is presented with an F and a bleak future.
So, there was totally enough Rachel tears for this to have been an American Idol episode, but fear not, Gleeks – the tears are being put away in favor of dancing shoes – It's prom time, Gleeks! Break out those prom gowns and tuxedos, gleeks, and I'll see you next week!